Thursday, August 3, 2017
USA U 23 women's Basketball -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
TEAMS HEAD INTO THURSDAY SEMIFINALS
We now know a little more about how things are going and what's happening in the USA U 23 women's basketball tryouts in Colorado Springs. For example...the team coaches are Jamelle Elliott (Cincinnati) for Team 1, Michelle Clark-Heard (WKU) on Team 2 , Cori Close (UCLA) heading up Team 3 and Courtney Banghart (Princeton) skipper of Team 4. Jeff Walz is not coaching any of the four squads...which is probably best...so he can over-view all the action without a vested interest in a particular squad.
We also have some player/squad correlations. Myisha Hines-Allen is on Team 2. Asia Durr is playing on Team 4. Erin Boley suits up for Team 3. We were able to find the nine-player rosters for Team 1 and 2...but nothing complete for Teams 3 and 4...so were not sure who Rebecca Greenwell and Mariya Moore are suited up with.
The standings after yesterday's morning and evening sessions:
Team 2 - 2-1
Team 4 - 2-1
Team 3 - 2-1
Team 1 - 0-3
The semifinals matchups that will start this morning at 10 a.m. EDT pit Team 1 vs. Team 3 in the opener and Team 2 vs. Team 4 at 11:30. Because three teams stands at 2-1, a point differential was used to determined the seedings.
HIghlights from yesterday's evening games:
-- Asia Durr scored 13 points for Team 4 in Wednesday night's win over Team 1 68-56. Kristine Angiwe added 11 points on 11 free throws. For Team 1, Brooke McCarty and Jatarie White finished with 12 each.
-- Erin Boley had 20 for Team 3 in the Wednesday night opener...a 89-50 win over Team 2.
Kelsey Mitchell had 14 for Team 3 and Sabina Ionescu delivered nine assists. Ariel Atkins ended up with 15 for Team 2.
Earlier in the day...
Team 3 downed Team 1 77-71. Kelsey Mitchell and A'ja Wilson had 13 each for Cori Close's Team 3. Destiny Slocum nailed three threes for Team 1 in the losing effort.
Team 2 ran past Team 4 80-57. Azura Stevens (19) and Ariel Atkins (17) led Michelle Clark-Heard's squad in scoring. Napheesa Collins tallied 13 for Team 4. Looks like Myisha's squad got the best of Asia's in that one...
Jeff Walz has been watching. Effort seemed to be on coach's mind. His thoughts:
"I've been really impressed with the effort by the young women. i know it was a tiring day for them. They put a lot of effort into it. But, I think its been better as they understand what we're trying to do. The competition is getting better and better. Overall, just very pleased with their effort."
After today's games...we'll know who will participate in the Gold and Bronze medal contest on Friday. Tomorrow's matchups will be televised on usab.com. I didn't see any mention of telecasting today's semifinals...but I may just pop over there to see if there is any live streaming. We know for sure that either Myisha's or Asia's squad will compete for the Gold Medal....since #2 and #4 get a rematch today.
FIBA rules for these contests are a little different than what you might be used to seeing in the NCAA. The squads play (4) quarters...eight minutes each. There is a 24-second shot clock. The back court clock is only eight seconds. Only coaches can call time outs.
So...what does it all mean? The competition gives the coaches and committee an opportunity to see how quickly the players can learn information and how they adapt and perform under it. The styles and play may be different than what they're used to in their college programs...but with four quality coaches in Elliott, Close, Clark-Heard and Banghart heading up the practice teams (and two of them assisting Walz when the final team is chosen) it's a "show-me" period on why you should make this squad. The committee and the coaches are looking for those twelve girls that can fulfill the roles of team players, leaders, motivators and instruction followers. The talent is there in all 36 at camp. The question is...which 12 will be the best combination?
Think about it...what coach would turn down the chance to have Kelsey Mitchell, A'ja Wilson and Erin Boley in their lineup for 32 games? Or Asia Durr, Mercedes Russell and Kristine Anigwe? Would you be tickled to coach Azura Stevens, Myisha Hines-Allen and Linnae Harper through a conference schedule? Yes...this is the best of the best. Narrowing the 36 to 12 is going to be a tough job.
The truth is, USA U 23 could probably take all four of these practice squads over to Japan and sweep the top four spots in the competition against Canada, Australia and Japan...there is that much talent on each of the nine-team rosters.
We still don't have any insight into how the four practice squads were picked. Obviously, we would have loved to see both Myisha and Asia on the same team. We did notice that two University of Texas players are on Team 1 (Brooke McCarty and Jatarie White) and that two Notre Dame girls are on Team 2 (Arike Ogunbowale and Jessica Shepard.)
We'll continue to monitor the action in Colorado Springs and provide you information tomorrow on today's action. Stay with CARDINAL COUPLE for your USA U 23 news!
(thanks to USAB.com and gocards.com for some of the information used in today's article.)